Page 7 - Amarillo Senior Link Magazine Winter 2020- Online Magazine
P. 7


          “     Our parents survived          Amarillo over

                                              the years. Son
                                              Larry has taken
                the Depression, the Dust
                Bowl, and WWII and            over the business
                                              and has carried
                are the most loving and       on his father’s
                giving people you will        reputation for
                ever meet. My fondest         quality and
                memory is the little hug      integrity in the
                Dad would give Mom            family business.
                when he came home from        When they look
                work.                         back, Thelma,
                                              known by many
                -Berry Thomas Cox             as “Sis”, and
                USAF Ret.                     Berry agree that                  NE 16th Street, which went from
                                              “it’s been wonderful all our lives.”
                                                                                decades. They now happily reside
            The young newlyweds had   ”       They enjoyed too many vacations   800 to 4500 sq. ft. in those seven
                                              to count, and bowling – lots of
            barely set up house before Berry   bowling! Berry is in the state and   in one of the attractive cottages at
            joined the Army in early 1945.    national Bowling Hall of Fame.    The Craig Senior Living Center
            21 days after he left, their first   He served as President of the   in Amarillo. Thelma delightfully
            son, Berry Thomas was born.       Amarillo Bowling Association and   overuses the words “really nice”
            Junior’s grandparents had moved   of the regional Southwest Bowling   when describing her home, the
            to Sunray just a block away, and   Association (TX, OK, KS). For    grounds and the staff at The Craig,
            Thelma was happy to have them     many years, they played cards     where they have lived for three
            help her with her new baby. After   every Friday night with friends.   years. After 77 years of living
            four months at Camp Hood, Berry   “We enjoyed it all,” Thelma       with the handyman, she reports,
            was sent to off to fight near Luzon   declares. “We had the happiest life.   “If there’s a problem, they come
            in the Philippines, where the     You can’t imagine.”               right away and fix it.” They have
            teenage father engaged in hand-to-                                  three grandchildren and eight
            hand combat. After the war ended,   And she speaks fondly of the man   great-grandchildren. Their sons,
            he was assigned to the Army Air   she has known for 80 years: “He’s   Berry Thomas, a retired USAF
            Corps and stationed in Japan for   so easy-going and friendly. He   lieutenant colonel, and Larry of
            two years.                        was always real                                 Amarillo, take
                                              good to me and                                  good care of their
            Not long after, they moved to     to everybody. Oh,                               parents. “If we
            Channing to manage a farm that    yes, and he was the                             mention anything,
            Berry, Sr. owned. Junior really   best daddy, not just                            it’s here,”
            did enjoy farming, but he had     to our boys but to                              Thelma says. The
            gotten his GED while in the       all the kids in the                             Coxes really are
            service, and the G.I. Bill opened   neighborhood.”                                genuinely happy
            the door for him to become a      Junior says Sis                                 to have each other,
            painting contractor. They moved   is “the most                                    even though
            to Amarillo where they welcomed   wonderful thing                                 Thelma laughingly
            their second son, Larry, in 1949.   that ever happened                            recalls, “People
            Berry established Berry Cox       to me.”                                         said it wouldn’t
            Painting and owned the business                                                   last.”
            for 60 years. Thelma was his      The Coxes lived
            bookkeeper and calculated that    for 70 years in the
            he painted over 2,000 homes in    same house on

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